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  • Writer's pictureJustin Key

Behind the Title - Something Good Coming

"Something Good Coming" - by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The sun sets through a grove of mangroves in a calm green lagoon along the beach in this fine art landscape from Aruba.

"Something Good Coming" is one of the rare all-around perfect song to photo pairings I've found. It's hard to find a song that aligns both lyrically and melodically with a photograph but the song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tells the story of this sunset in Aruba on both levels.

The opening instrumentals help set the scene immediately. The slow, flowing sound imitates the gentle tide hitting the sand in the lagoon so much that you can hear beats that sound like lapping waves. The mood is calm and content but there's an aura of optimism that something good is about to happen.

My wife, Sarah, and I had stumbled on this quaint bay along the beach after a day of riding the wind. A magnetic force had pulled me to the banks here for a picture but shortly after this photo was taken I was compelled to close up shop. My desire to explore had been fulfilled as if I'd reached the mountain top. All that was left to do was watch the show unfold.

"I'm watching the water

Watching the coast

Suddenly I know

What I want the most"

Aruba had made a lot of things click. The island had forged a deeper bond between Sarah and me, it had shown me what was important in life, and sitting watching the sunset it told me what I wanted my future to be.

The trip had come early in my pursuit of being an artist and a path was slowly emerging. There was still a lot of questions to be answered and plenty of doubt clogging my vision. This was the definitive moment that turned the corner for me. Something about the green glow in the trees, the orange sky, and the still Caribbean water convinced me that there was something good on my horizon.

"I know that look on your face

But there's something lucky about this place

And there's something good coming

For you and me"

Aruba had cast a spell on me days before that had shed me of stress. It was telling me not to worry, to let go of what I couldn't control. When the blue sky started to turn pink and the turquoise water green that evening, I found optimism on top of my relief. There was something about that place that told me luck would be on my side. As long as I didn't give up, good things would happen.

"And I'm in for the long run

Wherever it goes

Riding the river

Wherever it goes

And I'm an honest man

Work's all I know

You take that away

Don't know where to go"

It helped that Sarah was with me as the scene rendered us speechless. Both of us were in pursuit of finding our purpose and those years were quite turbulent for both of us professionally. The universe sent us a message on that shore that evening and it's a feeling I've carried with me ever since. Things are going to work out, there's something good coming, there has to be.

"And I know that look that's on your face

There's something lucky about this place

There's something good coming

For you and me

Something good coming

There has to be"

There's a subtle shift in the mood during the chorus. The melody finds a touch of optimism that brightens the tone. It's like the sun found an angle through the leaves to tickle your skin with a little warmth. The good thing anticipated hasn't arrived but the hope that it will is enough to suppress the worry. As the song fades like the sky that evening, a soothing determination arrives. Something good is coming and you have to be ready to meet it.


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